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Pakistan cruising towards victory – 1st Test vs. South Africa

Zia Rana October 16, 2013

South Africa 249 and 4-72 (Graeme Smith 32, Alviro Petersen 17, Zulfiqar Babar 1-0) trails Pakistan 442 (Khurram Manzoor 146, Misbah-ul-Haq 100, Shan Masood 75, Vernon Philander 3-84) by 121 runs.

Misbah-ul-Haq was the star of the third day with a hundred as the hosts gained a vital 1st innings lead and captured four important wickets of South Africa.

The Proteas scored 249 runs in the first innings followed by 72 in 26 overs for the loss of four wickets in the second. Pakistan piled up 442 runs in 138.4 overs before they were bowled out in their first innings.

The third day of the first Test concluded on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

Earlier, the hosts went into bat in the first innings at a comfortable position of 3-263 after 84 overs. Khurram Manzoor and his skipper, Misbah-ul-Haq, were at the crease on 131 and 44 runs respectively. The latter hit a couple of fours and went past his fifty as Khurram Manzoor was caught by Jacques Kallis off Vernon Philander at 290 after 89.5 overs at his personal score of 146 from 266 balls with 15 fours. Asad Shafiq was the next batsman in the park and the run rate went down drastically and no boundary was witnessed in the next 11 overs. He tasted his first four on the 48th ball whereas Misbah-ul-Haq kept on crawling at the other end and survived a review of caught behind at 79.

Misbah-ul-Haq - 4th Test hundred

Misbah-ul-Haq – 4th Test hundred

Asad Shafiq reached his 8th Test fifty on the third ball of the 118th over but was gone on the next delivery for 54. Adnan Akmal got together with Misbah-ul Haq who was not taking any undue risk and thrashed his fourth Test century but was declared leg before wicket off Dale Steyn for 100 from 187 with 8 fours. The lower order batting of Pakistan collapsed and Adnan Akmal was the last batsman to be dismissed for 32. They amassed 442 runs after utilising 138.4 overs and gained a valuable first innings lead of 193 runs.

Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander were the most successful bowlers with three wickets each, Jean-Paul Duminy held two and Morne Morkel got one wicket.

Graeme Smith, the captain of South Africa, and Alviro Petersen initiated their second innings under enormous pressure. The proceedings were rather slow but the batsmen were negotiating with the bowlers nicely until the end of the 10th over. Petersen was caught behind by Adnan Akmal off Mohammad Irfan for 17 once the score reached 38. The centurion of the first innings, Hashim Amla joined in next with Smith and both of them preferred to play off the day with a defensive approach.

Graeme Smith was stumped by Adnan Akmal off Saeed Ajmal for 32 off 61 balls with just two fours. The miseries were added for the Proteas when Jacques Kallis was held lbw off Junaid Khan for a duck at 58 and Hashim Amla became the next victim after the addition of 14 runs at10. AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn were fighting in the center for 11 and 0 runs as the visitors were reeling at 4-72 in 26 overs.

Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal and Zulfiqar Babar were the wicket taking bowlers with one each.

South Africa faces an uphill task for saving the Test match since they still have a first innings deficit of 121 runs with six wickets in hand whereas Pakistan has an outright chance of winning the game.

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